Saturday, 19 December 2015

December 19, 2015

150 years ago
1865


Politics and government
Liberal leader George Brown resigned from the Canadian coalition cabinet of Prime Minister John A. Macdonald; Mr. Brown supported free trade, while Mr. Macdonald and other Conservatives supported increased tariffs.

100 years ago
1915


Born on this date
Édith Piaf
. French singer. Miss Piaf was internationally famous for singing such ballads as La Vie en rose (1946); Hymne à l'amour (1949); and Non, je ne regrette rien (1960). She died of liver cancer on October 10, 1963 at the age of 47 after years of heavy drinking.

Died on this date
Alois Alzheimer, 51
. German psychiatrist and neuropathologist. Dr. Alzheimer was credited with identifying the first published case of "presenile dementia," later identified by his colleague Emil Kraepelin as Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Alzheimer died of heart failure.

War
Canadian pilot Malcolm Bell-Irving, flying with the Royal Flying Corps' No. 1 Squadron between Ypres and Lille, drove off two other Germans and survived an attack by three other planes; wounded during the engagement, he later receives the Distinguished Service Order for valour.

75 years ago
1940


Died on this date
Kyösti Kallio, 67
. Prime Minister of Finland, 1922-1924, 1925-1926, 1929-1930, 1936-1937; President of Finland, 1937-1940. Mr. Kallio, leader of the Agrarian League, was President during the Winter War against the U.S.S.R. in 1939-1940, and was forced to accept the Moscow Peace Treaty in March 1940. His health declined, and on November 27, 1940 he left his notice of resignation, intending to retire to his farm at Nivala. A band was playing the patriotic Finnish march Porilaisten marssi (March of the Men of Pori) as an honour guard saluted Mr. Kallio at Helsinki Central Railway Station as he prepared to depart for his retirement, but he collapsed and died in the arms of his adjutant, Marshal Carl Mannerheim. Risto Ryti was elected to succeed Mr. Kallio as President just a few hours before Mr. Kallio's death.

War
The Royal Canadian Navy destroyer HMCS Saguenay was torpedoed 500 kilometres west of Ireland by the Italian submarine Argo while escorting Convoy HG-47; she managed to return to Barrow-in-Furness largely under her own power, but with 21 dead and without most of her bow. German bombers resumed night raids over Britain after a lull of three days, the longest break since September. U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill told Parliament that the British successes in Egypt were due not only to the superiority of British plans and troops, but also to the fact that the Italians had no heart in the war and their morale was low.

Defense
British officials presented a list of orders of war materiel to U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau said to total between $2 billion and $3 billion and to include 12,000 combat planes.

Crime
Illinois authorities seized papers and records of the Chicago office of the German-American Bund. An investigator reported that one of the books taken contained the names of 1,500-2,000 members supposed to be in the United States Army or Navy.

Alan Shaw, 22, a Communist convicted of criminal syndicalism although no specific act of violence had been charged, was sentnced in Oklahoma City to 10 years in prison and fined $5,000. Mr. Shaw claimed that his case had been a "mockery" from the beginning.

70 years ago
1945


At the movies
Leave Her to Heaven, starring Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, Jeanne Crain, and Vincent Price, opened in theatres.

Died on this date
John Amery, 33
. U.K. traitor. Mr. Amery, the son of former Conservative cabinet minister Leo Amery, was hanged by Albert Pierrepoint at Wandsworth Prison in London three weeks after pleading guilty to eight counts of treason related to activities during World War II that included propaganda broadcasts and a proposal to raise a pro-Nazi British volunteer force (which became the British Free Corps).

War
French troops landed at Haiphong, Indochina.

The U.S. State Department urged all parties in the Netherlands East Indies to resume peace negotiations and reach a settlement based on the United Nations Charter and Declaration.

A United States Navy court-martial at Washington Navy Yard acquitted Captain Charles McVay of failing to give timely orders to abandon ship, but convicted him of "hazarding his ship by failing to zigzag" as a result of the July 30, 1945 loss of the cruiser USS Indianapolis, which had been sunk by a torpedo from the Japanese Navy submarine I-58. Only 317 of the 1,196 crewmen of the Indianapolis survived. Capt. McVay is the only U.S Navy captain to have been court-martialed for having a ship sunk by an act of war.

Diplomacy
U.S. Secretary of State James Byrnes and U.K. Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin conferred separately with U.S.S.R. dictator Josef Stalin in Moscow after meeting with Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov.

U.S. President Harry Truman nominated former Secretary of State Edward Stettinius as chief United States representative to the United Nations. Both houses of the United States Congress accepted the conference report on the UN participation bill voted on in the House of Representatives the previous day.

Economics and finance
The British House of Commons passed the third reading of the bill nationalizing the Bank of England, and received a bill nationalizing coal mines.

Defense
U.S. President Truman asked Congress for unification of the nation's armed services under a single civilian Secretary of Defense.

Journalism
Soviet press urged the creation of an international tribunal to judge "internationally dangerous newspaper crimes" such as slandering "peace-loving" states.

Central Americana
The Council of the American Geographical Society of New York exhibited its 107-sheet map of Hispanic America on the 1:1,000,000 scale after 25 years of preparation.

Science
The American Institute of Electrical Engineers awarded the 1945 Edison Medal to Philip Sporn for his work in power generation.

50 years ago
1965


Hit parade
#1 single in Ireland (IRMA): Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out--The Beatles

Politics and government
In France's first popular presidential election, President Charles de Gaulle won a run-off election, and was re-elected to another seven-year term. The first round of voting on December 5 had given Mr. de Gaulle 44% of the vote to 32% for Francois Mitterand, 16% for Senator Jean Lecanouet, and a combined total of 8% for Pierre Marcilhacy, Paul Antier, and Jean-Louis Tixier-Vignancour. Prior to the introduction of a constitutional amendment in 1962, the President of France had been chosen by an electoral college consisting of members of the national assembly and Senate.

Football
NFL
Dallas (7-7) 38 @ New York (7-7) 20
Detroit (6-7-1) 35 @ Philadelphia (5-9) 28
Pittsburgh (2-12) 14 @ Washington (6-8) 35
Cleveland (11-3) 27 @ St. Louis (5-9) 24
Minnesota (7-7) 24 @ Chicago (9-5) 17
Green Bay (10-3-1) 24 @ San Francisco (7-6-1) 24

Jim Brown scored his 126th and last career regular season touchdown to help the Browns defeat the Cardinals in the last National Football League game to be played at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

AFL
Houston (4-10) 14 @ Boston (4-8-2) 42
Buffalo (10-3-1) 12 @ New York (5-8-1) 14
Denver (4-10) 35 @ Kansas City (7-5-2) 45
Oakland (8-5-1) 14 @ San Diego (9-2-3) 24

40 years ago
1975


Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand: Wasted Days and Wasted Nights--Freddy Fender (12th week at #1)

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Lady Bump--Penny McLean (7th week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland: Dolannes-Melodie--Jean-Claude Borelly (10th week at #1)

#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): Paloma Blanca--George Baker Selection (6th week at #1)

Law
John Paul Stevens was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States; he had been appointed by President Gerald Ford to replace the retired William O. Douglas.

Bertha Wilson was appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal, becoming the first woman in Canada to be named to a provincial court of appeal.

30 years ago
1985


On television tonight
The Twilight Zone, on CITV
Tonight’s episode: Night of the Meek, starring Richard Mulligan; But Can She Type?, starring Pam Dawber; The Star, starring Donald Moffat and Fritz Weaver

Diplomacy
The White House made public a December 5 letter from Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to U.S. President Ronald Reagan in which Mr. Gorbachev offered to allow the United States to inspect some Soviet nuclear test facilities. The offer was conditioned on a long-term joint superpower moratorium on nuclear testing. White House spokesman Larry Speakes said that the moratorium would be rejected because the Soviet Union could not be relied on to adhere to a ban.

Defense
U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed into law an omnibus bill providing 7.4% less in defense outlays than he had requested. The restraint reflected strong year-long resistance, especially in the House of Representatives, to the continuation of defense buildup at the rate seen during Mr. Reagan’s first term. Resumption of the stockpiling of chemical weapons was approved after a 16-year moratorium, but space tests of anti-satellite missiles were banned for fiscal 1986.

Politics and government
U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz appeared to be at odds with other leaders in the administration of President Ronald Reagan when he said he would resign if required to take a polygraph test. A directive signed by Mr. Reagan on November 1 appeared to make thousands of State Department and Defense Department employees and defense contractors subject to such a test. The administration had been concerned about spying and leaking of information to the press. Mr. Shultz also expressed doubts about the reliability of the tests. Central Intelligence Agency Director William Casey said there was a need for branches of government receiving sensitive information to make "selective, careful use" of the polygraph. Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger had already said that he would take the test if asked.

U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (Democrat--Massachusetts) announced that he would not seek his party’s nomination for President of the United States in 1988, and that he believed he could better advance his values by remaining in the Senate. In order to stay in the Senate, he would have to be re-elected in 1988.

25 years ago
1990


Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): Lassie--Ainbusk

At the movies
Hamlet, directed by franco Zeffirelli and starring Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, Alan Bates, Paul Scofield, and Helena Bonham Carter, opened in theatres in Los Angeles, New York, and Toronto.

Politics and government
Soviet Premier Nikolai Ryzhkov, addressing the 2,250-member Congress of People’s Deputies, said that perestroika (restructuring) had failed and that he assumed personal failure for failure of the economy.

Society
The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse released a survey showing a decline in the use of drugs by Americans since 1988. The report said that an estimated 27 million Americans had used some illegal drug during the past year. According to the results, those who used cocaine at least once per month declined in number by 45%, to about 1.6 million. The number using marijuana once per month or more often declined by 12% to about 10.2 million. The number who smoked cigarettes or drank alcohol had also declined. President George Bush called the findings "very encouraging news."

20 years ago
1995


Died on this date
Nita Barrow, 79
. Governor General of Barbados, 1990-1995. Miss Barrow, ths sister of Prime Minister Errol Barrow, had a distinguished career in nursing before being appointed Governor General. She died in office, and was succeeded by acting Governor General Denys Williams before Clifford Husbands was given the office on a full-time basis.

Politics and government
The United States Government restored federal recognition to the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indian tribe in Michigan.

10 years ago
2005


Politics and government
Afghanistan's first democratically elected parliament in more than three decades convened.

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